The campaign of Kansas House candidate Paul Waggoner, R-Hutchinson, is emphasizing the “lobbyist donors” contributions State Rep. Steven Becker, R-Buhler, has received.
Waggoner said his own campaign in the 104th District does not accept the donations of the PACs and lobbyists.
Becker pointed out there is a difference between PACs and lobbyists. He accepts donations from PACs but not from lobbyists.
PACs are groups of people, often times employees, who put their money together, Becker said. “With PACs, you know who the money is coming from,” he said.
He cited Americans for Prosperity-Kansas as an example of an entity from which he would not accept a donation. “You don’t know who the money is coming from,” he said.
The top contribution per election cycle is $500 for a Kansas House candidate. “Goodness, my vote is not for sale,” said Becker, a retired judge. “The PAC that gives me $500 has not purchased my vote,” he said.
On his campaign Facebook page, Waggoner shows photos from portions of Becker’s political finance reports and does not mention individuals donating to Becker's campaign. Some donor lines have been whited out so their identity is not revealed.
More individuals contributed to Becker’ss campaign in 2017 than PACs. The other two Republicans representing Reno County in the Kansas House, State Reps. Joe Seiwert, Pretty Prairie, and Jack Thimesch, Spivey, showed no individuals contributing to their campaigns in 2017, in their itemized reports.
Waggoner said he is raising the lobbyist and PAC issue because in 2016 when Becker faced Republican challenger Lowell Peachey, Becker had ads negativing referring to “Topeka lobbyists.”
These are the individuals who gave to Becker’s campaign in 2017, according to the itemized list:
Hutchinson: Edward Doherty, M. Jay Brown, Larry Stotts, Mark and Susan Richardson, Dennis and Debbie Berndsen, Charles Hyter, Paula Hopkins, Michael Kim and Cynthia Moore, Ed and Carol Berger, Garth Strand, Brad Dillon, Paul Stotts, Wanda Morrison, Merl Sellers.
Buhler: Don and Annette Epp, Milford and Lola Lohrentz, Daniel Friesen.
Halstead: Arnita Haury
Topeka: Ronald and Alice Wurtz
Bonner Springs: David Monilli.
Non-individual donations in 2017 came from:
Meade: Kansas Committee for Rural Electrification
Topeka: Kansas Contractors Association PAC, Kansas Automobile Dealers, Kansas Hospital Association
Mayetta: Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation
Tulsa, Oklahoma: Oneok Employees PAC
Redmond, Washington: Microsoft Corp.
Fort Worth: BNSF Railway Co.
St. Louis: Anheuser-Busch.